Want to wow your current and prospective clients at your next presentation? The bad news is there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Just as you may prefer to attend presentations that include more data and less discussion, your clients may prefer the opposite.
The good news is that the more you can find out about your clients’ needs, preferences, and level of knowledge—both before and during your presentation—the more you’ll engage them. If you’re an introvert, you can play to your strengths, such as: researching to become well informed about your audience; thinking deeply about their challenges and your solutions; and listening attentively during meetings with them to ensure you tailor your message.
Stepping into your clients’ shoes
You don’t have a crystal ball, so how can you know what your clients are thinking? Chances are you’re already knowledgeable about your subject or you wouldn’t have earned a seat at the table. But how knowledgeable are you about your clients? Not gaining that knowledge can look like this: clients slumped in their seats, pretending to be interested, yawning, checking their wristwatches a lot, and/or playing Angry Birds while you’re talking. If you’re not already adept at reading nonverbal signals, pick up a book on the topic, like Louder Than Words by Joe Navarro. Another treasure trove of tips to step up your game as a presenter is The Power of Communication by Helio Fred Garcia. My book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®, also contains information about the verbal as well as nonverbal aspects of giving a successful presentation.
Cheat sheet for targeting your clients
Want a little preventative medicine? The following cheat sheet will help you organize your “intel” efforts so you’ll target your clients more effectively before and during your next presentation.
Tap into other sources of information.Identify other people and resources (e.g., online searches, LinkedIn.com) that can help you learn more about your clients. This is where you get to use your introvert’s detective skills.
Enlighten your clients.Introverts are often sponges for information. Share the wealth; educate your clients on their areas of interest.
Reflect, regroup, and learn for next time.If your colleagues attended or presented with you, have a “post-mortem” meeting to compare notes about what worked and what you can all do better next time. If you’re an introvert, take time to reflect and gather your thoughts before that meeting.
Copyright © 2012 Nancy Ancowitz